Greg and I are just thrilled to pass along the following good news: our own Paul Hendrickson has won the Heartland Prize for Nonfiction for his recent book SONS OF MISSISSIPPI. More information is below, including an excerpt from and link to a recent article about the award published in the CHICAGO TRIBUNE.

Here are excerpts from the CHICAGO TRIBUNE article:

Paul Hendrickson, 59, won the Heartland Prize for non-fiction with "Sons of Mississippi: A Story of Race and Its Legacy." The book follows the lives of seven Mississippi lawmen depicted in a Life magazine photograph and examines the impact of segregation and prejudice on them and their families.

"What I found were blades of hope, and they are vulnerable to quick trampling," Hendrickson said about his research for the book.

Hendrickson, who...who teaches non-fiction writing at the University of Pennsylvania, said, "To get this award is a powerful thing."

Here is a link to the full article:

Seven white Mississippi sheriffs are immortalized in an infamous 1962 Life photograph. In this horrific freeze-frame of racism, the sheriffs admire a billy club with obvious pleasure, preparing for the unrest they anticipate--and to which they clearly intend to contribute--in the wake of James Meredith's planned attempt to integrate the University of Mississippi.

In telling the stories of these men, Paul Hendrickson gives us an extraordinarily revealing view of racism in America at that moment. But his ultimate focus is on the part this legacy has played in the lives of their families--how the racial bigotry of those seven white Mississippi sheriffs has been transformed or has remained untouched in their children and grandchildren.

"Written with ethereal elegance, SONS OF MISSISIPPI explores the pathos of racism in the American South with a rare lyrical intensity." --Douglas Brinkley, author of ROSA PARKS